For many Filipinos, shopping goes beyond the mere act of purchasing their needs and wants as it is also seen as an activity where people can connect with their family, friends, and loved ones.
Many shopping malls around the country cater to this familial bond among their customers.
But this dynamic was greatly disturbed when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the Philippines in March 2020. People were mandated to stay indoors as a precaution meant to keep the virus from spreading rapidly.
With almost everyone stuck at home, the once lively malls where people used to roam descended to silence and stillness. People have also become reminiscent of a time when they could enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about their safety.
Luckily, modern technology has given a solution to this problem. Thanks to the internet and its various platforms, people can now use the online space to engage in the activities they enjoyed before the pandemic and its restrictions like shopping and spending time with the people they love.
Putting a spotlight on online shopping
Even before the pandemic, online shopping has already been available to users everywhere. But people weren’t as quick to respond to it as they are now. This is because people didn’t see the need to turn their attention and efforts online if they can experience it firsthand.
But with the new normal, the public had to reconsider the potential of online shopping until they eventually recognized the opportunities it presented.
Several e-commerce platforms, both local and international, have been gaining praise and recognition from users everywhere. In the Philippines, the malls and outlets that the people know and love also realized the advantages of leveraging online space.
This allows them to continue their operations of providing for the people as they have for years. Consumers, in turn, can enjoy a better shopping experience because they know that they’re dealing with a trusted brand.
Without having to leave the safety of their homes, people can browse through a variety of products and tap a few items on their screens before their orders will be delivered to their homes in just a few days.
Aside from skipping long checkout lines while maintaining safety, another benefit of online shopping is that buyers have access to more products without having to check different branches and leaving disappointed if it’s not there.
Pre-ordering is common in online stores so that consumers don’t have to feel frustrated about not finding the item/s they need. Plus it makes the wait of receiving the item more worthwhile.
Transactions are also made easier at online shopping platforms. When people go shopping physically, they have limited options such as cash or cards. But in a digital space, they have access to other payment options that don’t require cash.
These are only some of the benefits that come with online shopping. As the world continues to shift to a modern setting, new demands will arise thus prompting brands to adapt and meet these needs.
Four tips when shopping online
While online shopping bears similarities to its physical counterpart, buyers should continue to exercise a level of caution when buying essentials and other items. Here are some tips to make the online shopping experience more enjoyable.
1. Always read the product description
Many online buyers often make mistakes with the items they buy, leading to visible disappointment and frustration. To avoid this from happening, make sure that the item has the right specifications to fit your needs. This means checking its material, dimensions, and even finding out if it has a warranty should there be any complications with the item upon receiving or over time.
If needed, reach out to the seller to clarify any questions about an item. This applies when buying from both new and established online selling platforms. A consumer has the right to know everything about a product and the sellers should provide full disclosure.
2. Check the product’s rating
When using online platforms, one striking difference it has from the physical activity is that there will be no one there to assist. Sellers are only available for some time before they can get back to any concerns so the process of selection falls onto the buyers. To see if an item is worth it, check for ratings that other buyers left in reaction to their purchase. The feedback can provide a better perspective and even set a level of expectation from the item.
3. Double-check the item before checking out
Just like with physical shopping, double-checking an item before paying for it is important. This lessens the chances of a buyer making mistakes that could sometimes cost some money.
Aside from securing the item’s quality, another way to mitigate losses is by choosing a payment option that uses cash on delivery or allows refunds. This is advisable when buying things that are worth a significant amount such as gadgets, novelty items, and more.
4. Learn how to budget
While online shopping has made the experience easier, it also features sales events where consumers can buy quality items for a lower price. And at a time when people need something to pass the time or distract them from the current health pandemic, some find satisfaction in retail therapy.
Practicality should still be exercised, especially in online shopping. There will always be new items that can pique buyers’ interests, but they should also maintain a level of self-control to avoid spending their money on things that will hardly be used. Investing in the right items can go a long way.
Since last year, online shopping has made Filipinos’ lives easier by providing them with an option to continue one of their favorite activities from the safety of their homes. Many have found solace and enjoyment in being able to browse and buy items right at their fingertips. Because of this development, online space may see more shopping platforms that will continue to delight consumers for years to come.